Today in 2010, "Carol Of The Bells" is a familiar Christmas song to residents of the United States and parts of Western Europe. However, its origin is Ukrainian, and it was originally intended to be sung on the eve of the Julian New Year (January 13th) as an expression of hope for good fortune in the coming spring.
Ukrainian Choirmaster Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych wrote the original music and lyrics in 1916. He titled his piece: "Shchedryk," which roughly translates to "bountiful" in English. Leontovych's "Shchedryk" incorporates elements of traditional Ukrainian New Year's folk songs (shchedryvkas) into a sophisticated orchestral choral arrangement. The lyrics of "Shchedryk" are basically the chirpings of a happy swallow who tweets tidings of good fortune for the months ahead. Sadly, good tidings were not meant for Leontovych himself, however. He was shot and killed by a robber in 1921.
In 1936, American Choir Director Peter J. Wilhousky wrote new English lyrics for "Shchedryk" and, thus, created the now familiar "Carol Of The Bells." Of Czech origin, Wilhousy based his lyrics on a Slavic legend about how all the bells around the world rang out spontaneously on the night that Jesus was born. Wilhousky went on to lead a long life of fame and fortune as a choral conductor and music educator in New York.
Charles Rice Goff III took on the challenge of producing a solo recording of this choral composition in November, 2010. His two-minute version of "Carol Of The Bells" was sculpted from eighty original overdubs; no other musicians participated in creating this recording. A jpeg of the computer screen image that Goff used to mixdown the eighty overdubs is included in this archive. Goff employed the following battery of instruments in his composition:
Midisoft Computer Composing Tool
Reflector Stratocaster Electronic Guitar
Korg R3 Vocoder/Synthesizer
Cool Edit Pro 2.1 Computer Recording Program
Yamaha FX 500 Effects Unit
Various Guitar Pedal Effects
Various Computer Sound Effects
Goff dedicates this production to his family, friends, and fans, all of whom have contributed in some way to making this recording possible.
by Taped Rugs Productions